Well, another few hours of gaming have gone by whilst I have been travelling for relocation purposes. I apologize for the lack of screenshots--my Internet has simply been too often disconnecting to be able to arrage and publish the photos before it goes out again.
The plot has picked up a lot of speed, and I'm remembering some difficulties I had in the past. The Sphere gnerator was inacessible due to a moongate that teleported me backwards. TO get through it I needed--for some reason--a magical hourglass, but the mage who owned the device was too insane to enchant it for me. I also had to head to Paws to buy the hourglass, and the lady at the shop was so grouchy that I felt compelled to also buy a spitoon, a rocking horse, and a sextant--though the sextant was a good deal!
The magic carpet is another magic item that was mentioned in comments--I did indeed pick it up from Despise, and it's made travelling to some of the other locales a lot easier. Getting that hourglass enchanted required a string of plots. First, I went to Penumbra, whom you might recognize from Ultima VI. I awoke her by kissing her. Actually, I just dumped an orange potion down her gullet. She rose and sent me off to find an ethereal ring owned by Draxinosum. Hooray, Terfin, land of the gargoyles! The statues of Mondain and Minax no longer seem threateing, by the way. Minax has a goofy crown. At any rate. Drax sent me to the isle of Spektran, but not before I foiled yet another Fellowship-sponsered violent act, in this case the destruction of the gargoyle altars.
Spektran, as I remember, was one of the hardest parts of the game because the stone harpy that you have to kill (the pet of the insane "sultan" who purchased the etereal ring from Draxinosum) is quite difficult. I died multiple times, until I discovered that she is uniquely susceptible to lighting bolts from a lighning wand! With the ring, I headed to Deceit as instructed, a dungeon which is much smaller than I anticipated. I found the tetrahedron generator after walking through many a wall, and killed this big red goofball called an Ethereal Monster. In this case, I used the firedoom staff that Horace the Liche gave me in Skara Brae.
A quick trip via carpet to Nicodemus got my hourglass enchanted, and a Recall spell got me to the sphere, which was simply a maze of moongates. I easily mastered it, but to my sadness its destruction deactivated all of the moongates :-( Now I probably should buy a boat...but I have enough gold to do so now, anyway!
Here's a list of things I haven't done yet:
-Find some treasure in Destard
-Explore obscure islands
-Explore some of the deeper forest areas
-Drop by Serpent's Hold
I think I'll do these things before I hit the main plot again, and also do Forge of Virtue somewhere in between. Ultima VII is, overall, a pretty easy game.